Author Topic: Hints for joining a small town  (Read 9325 times)

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Sophia

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #45 on: November 03, 2012, 12:14:38 PM »
My concern doesn't really stem from homeschooling.  That just closes off an easy way to meet people.  That if we didn't make an effort to join the community, or we made some really bad move in the beginning and got a bad reputation, then parents might not want their kids to associate with the child of "Those People". 

I think part of my worry is the hard time she was given by the small town where dad grew up.  I always heard horror stories.  The town was certain that because my parents eloped, mom must have been pregnant.  When I was 9-ish, at my Great-Grandmother's funeral some of the people from that town told me I was several years older than I really was.  That my parents would lie to me about my age was more likely than my parents eloped with being pregnant.  Out of idle curiosity I looked up that town in Wikipedia and it was almost precisely the same number of people as the one we are moving to.  I had a bit of a panic attack.

Sharnita

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #46 on: November 03, 2012, 05:59:09 PM »
I think you need to let go of past experiences and be open to future possibilities or you will create a self-fulfilling prophecy.  You are going to see and hear what you expect and react in a way that affects your relationship with the people around you.

Maude

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #47 on: November 04, 2012, 03:44:31 PM »
Be aware of how people dress... eg high heels?, city/town clothes?,make up?

Also be aware of political and religious trends.

Sophia

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #48 on: November 04, 2012, 04:04:26 PM »
Be aware of how people dress... eg high heels?, city/town clothes?,make up?

Also be aware of political and religious trends.

I hadn't thought of that.  I am a conservative protestant, so I think I am good there.  Don't know about clothes/makeup, though.  I dress casually without makeup.  I honestly don't care about that in other people, so I've never paid attention.  I'll try to pay attention so I can shift my appearance within my comfort-level.  My SOP is to dress my daughter nicely and figure no one will notice me. 

rashea

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #49 on: November 05, 2012, 12:21:15 PM »
Do you have a dog? Because out walking is a great opportunity to meet a few people and chat.

On the dress thing, since someone brought it up. I live in a small town. And a casual, farming, working type small town at that. Jeans and a nice top is dressed up around here. So, I take that into consideration. Not that I don't wear dresses and things, but people do look at you a bit funny if you're in heels and makeup to do a shopping run. It's quite freeing for me, but I know it wouldn't work for everyone.

Find a local shop, and say that you're new. Then ask who you should meet. There's a woman in my town that lives right in town, and she's the go-to person for everything in town. Just knowing her is enough to get you in a bit. The local library is another great place to meet a few people and get to know them.

I think small town living is great for interverts, because once you get to know people, you're surrounded by people who know you. It can be hard getting started, and you might have to push a bit in the beginning just to get a friend or two, but after that it will snowball. Especially if you let people know you're looking to make a few friends in the area.

Another tip is don't be afraid to help people. Offering a little assistance goes a long way. That can be during a time of crisis, like what's going on with Sandy (up here regular snow storms sometimes cause issues for people) or something smaller. Baked goods can go a long way. And don't be afraid to ask for help. If you see someone's garden, ask if they have any tips for a variety of tomatoes that do well in the area. Little moments like that build quickly.

ETA: tread lightly on the local hot button issues. If everyone agrees you're fine, but if people are divided it can be tough. Here, it's the issue of wind mills, and I don't broach that one in town at all, and I'm careful not to give my opinion until I get the sense of how the other person feels.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

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Mikayla

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #50 on: November 05, 2012, 02:13:58 PM »
This might sound a little strange, but I was at a family reunion over the weekend, and one of my relatives is a realtor in D/FW.  She was saying that she's been doing several listings up in the NE corner.  I only mention it because there may not be quite as entrenched a group of long-timers as you think, and you may not be the glaringly obvious "new girl in town".

I love the ideas you've gotten, so my only other comment is don't overplan it.  A lot of this just flows naturally from shared experiences, etc.

Also, to Traska, I'm surprised you're an introvert.  Your posts almost always crack me up!

/threadjack

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #51 on: November 05, 2012, 03:13:22 PM »
This might sound a little strange, but I was at a family reunion over the weekend, and one of my relatives is a realtor in D/FW.  She was saying that she's been doing several listings up in the NE corner.  I only mention it because there may not be quite as entrenched a group of long-timers as you think, and you may not be the glaringly obvious "new girl in town".

I love the ideas you've gotten, so my only other comment is don't overplan it.  A lot of this just flows naturally from shared experiences, etc.

Also, to Traska, I'm surprised you're an introvert.  Your posts almost always crack me up!

/threadjack

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Bandu

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #52 on: November 07, 2012, 09:17:57 PM »
I grew up in a small Texas town, lived 20 years in Austin, then fled back to small-town life 15 years ago. So howdy and welcome! You've gotten some great advice on making friends and such so far. I only have a couple minor bits to add.

When I first returned to small town life, everyday things seemed to go much more slowly -- checking out at the grocery store, going to pay a bill or renew something governmental, for example. And "visiting" was often the reason why. The clerk would visit (chat) with the person in front of me while the transaction went on and for a few moments once it was done, which is jarringly different from what I was used to in the city. What I had to make myself remember was that I was feeling impatient in a "line" that consisted of two whole people. That line would've been much longer in the city, and there would've been little or no small talk. And I love me some small talk!

The other thing is what I call "The Glide." When you are driving on a quiet, rural, two-lane blacktop and a car is (at long last) oncoming, more often than not, it will slowly glide to the far right of its lane, rather than stay centered in the lane. I've always taken this as a message -- "I see you up ahead, I am awake and paying attention, no need to worry, I got this." Once the two vehicles pass, they both return to the center of their respective lanes. The glide is comforting, to me. It lets me know that, hey, this driver isn't gonna zone out and cross into my lane on a road with little or no wiggle room.

Hope this makes some sort of sense. And again, welcome to the boonies!

Sophia

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #53 on: November 14, 2012, 12:36:43 PM »
Update: my daughters transition into the town might be easier than we thought.  A friend of ours used to rent some commercial space to a daycare.  The daycare moved out and left their very fancy playset.  I haven't seen it yet, but my husband joked that it is probably nicer than the one at the park.  We'll of course put it behind the fence.  The playset is free. 

Shea

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #54 on: November 15, 2012, 08:48:06 PM »
I grew up in a small town, and I think you've got a good plan. I was pleased to see the "not complain about how things are here/say how much better they were in Former Town" on your list. In my hometown, that was our biggest gripe about newcomers, they'd move in and immediately start whining about how far away from anything the town was or the presence of deer in their gardens and bears in their trash or how the nearest Trader Joe's was 3 hours drive away (yes, I've heard that complaint more than once!) Don't do that and people will like you immediately ;).

Also, after awhile everyone will know everything you're doing. It's not necessarily a bad thing. When I go home to visit my parents, I know I'm home when I go to the grocery store and run into four people I've known since I was a toddler before I even manage to get in the doors. And they all know exactly what I'm up to, even though I haven't lived in Hometown since I was 18. That's small-town life!


If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, librarians are a global threat.

Oh Joy

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #55 on: November 16, 2012, 09:20:14 AM »
...
The other thing is what I call "The Glide." When you are driving on a quiet, rural, two-lane blacktop and a car is (at long last) oncoming, more often than not, it will slowly glide to the far right of its lane, rather than stay centered in the lane. I've always taken this as a message -- "I see you up ahead, I am awake and paying attention, no need to worry, I got this." Once the two vehicles pass, they both return to the center of their respective lanes. The glide is comforting, to me. It lets me know that, hey, this driver isn't gonna zone out and cross into my lane on a road with little or no wiggle room.
...

Ahhh, yes.  And The Pedestrian Glide, where - with even more exaggeration on the rural county roads - you move into the oncoming traffic lane if there's someone walking on your shoulder and no opposing traffic.  The higher the speed limit, the farther over and earlier you move.

And don't forget to nod and wave!   ;)

CatFanatic

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #56 on: November 16, 2012, 09:21:44 AM »
Grew up in a small town too (Australia). The advice you have so far is great. Here's a few more:
-Keep up your front yard (not saying you don't!). A lot of small towns take the appearance of their street very seriously.
-Contact the local Chamber of Commerce (or whatever) for information about doctors, dentists, vets etc. They may send a welcoming package, or even a welcoming committee!
-Expect a few whinges about YourFormerCity once they find out where you're from, and just nod and say 'yes, I know what you mean'. They will stop.
-If someone wants to be your new best buddy instantly, be polite but hold back for a while. Cliche as it may seem, there's often a group who are active in local politics and tries to recruit all newcomers.

We drove through Texas on holiday a while back. Everyone was so friendly in the little towns!

Shoo

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #57 on: November 16, 2012, 10:29:19 AM »
...
The other thing is what I call "The Glide." When you are driving on a quiet, rural, two-lane blacktop and a car is (at long last) oncoming, more often than not, it will slowly glide to the far right of its lane, rather than stay centered in the lane. I've always taken this as a message -- "I see you up ahead, I am awake and paying attention, no need to worry, I got this." Once the two vehicles pass, they both return to the center of their respective lanes. The glide is comforting, to me. It lets me know that, hey, this driver isn't gonna zone out and cross into my lane on a road with little or no wiggle room.
...

Ahhh, yes.  And The Pedestrian Glide, where - with even more exaggeration on the rural county roads - you move into the oncoming traffic lane if there's someone walking on your shoulder and no opposing traffic.  The higher the speed limit, the farther over and earlier you move.

And don't forget to nod and wave!   ;)

And above all else, absolutely resist the urge to honk or gesture at another driver, no matter how stupid and deserving they are.  Trust me, that person will end up being the cashier at your grocery store, or your child's best friend's father. 

Bandu

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #58 on: November 16, 2012, 10:13:07 PM »
Quote
And above all else, absolutely resist the urge to honk or gesture at another driver, no matter how stupid and deserving they are.  Trust me, that person will end up being the cashier at your grocery store, or your child's best friend's father.
Oh absolutely! I am just SHOCKED! SHOCKED! when I hear someone honk in Hometown.

AmethystAnne

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Re: Hints for joining a small town
« Reply #59 on: November 17, 2012, 03:39:04 PM »
Sophia, you could see what your local library has to offer. Our library has Story Hour one morning a week for children younger than school age. 2 of my grandchildren (ages 18 months and 3 1/2 years) have a fun time there.